Article (Scientific journals)
Protection of peri-urban groundwater catchments: a multi-tracer approach for the identification of urban pollution sources
Balzani, Laura; Orban, Philippe; Brouyère, Serge
2022In Advances in Geosciences, 59, p. 27 - 35
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Keywords :
Groundwater; peri-urban area; Stable isotopes; catchment; contamination
Abstract :
[en] Groundwater catchment located in peri-urban areas may be impacted by many pollutants coming from different types of point or diffuse sources such as accidental spills, continuous hidden leaks in drainage networks, old landfills, treated/untreated wastewater and watercourses. In the scope of the CASPER project, a new methodological approach has been developed based on field survey and interpretation of the collected data in order to distinguish between the different sources of contamination and mixtures of pollutants. First, the groundwater catchment area corresponding to the land surface perimeter in which abstracted groundwater is recharged is determined and characterised in hydrogeological terms. The possible sources of pollution are identified. In a second step, a groundwater and surface water monitoring survey is established, and water samples are collected focusing on a combination of physicochemical parameters and set of various hydrochemical indicators. In particular, different stable isotopes are considered. The NO3- and Boron stable isotopes are used to distinguish between inputs linked to urban effluents, agricultural fertilisers and manure. Stable isotopes of SO42- are used to distinguish between sulphide minerals oxidation, sulphur-carbon compounds mineralisation, lixiviation and human pollution. Moreover, the occurrence of specific molecules like pharmaceutical and lifestyle products (carbamazepine, caffeine, etc.) are used as effective tracers of anthropogenic contamination. Microbiological analyses are also undertaken to identify microbial populations associated with specific sources of pollution or specific biochemical reactions occurring in soil and groundwater. The resulting hydrochemical dataset is then processed using multivariate and clustering analyses. In this context, the objective here is to describe the rigorous methodological approach to assess pollution sources and to illustrate the first steps of this process using a case study corresponding to a groundwater catchment is a chalk aquifer in Western Belgium.
Disciplines :
Geological, petroleum & mining engineering
Author, co-author :
Balzani, Laura ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Urban and Environmental Engineering
Orban, Philippe  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département ArGEnCo > Hydrogéologie & Géologie de l'environnement
Brouyère, Serge  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département ArGEnCo > Hydrogéologie & Géologie de l'environnement
Language :
Title :
Protection of peri-urban groundwater catchments: a multi-tracer approach for the identification of urban pollution sources
Publication date :
18 November 2022
Journal title :
Advances in Geosciences
Publisher :
Copernicus Publications
Volume :
Pages :
27 - 35
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Funding text :
The authors thank to SPGE (Société Publique de Gestion de l'Eau) to finance the project. The authors also express their gratitude to SWDE (Société Wallonne Des Eaux), SPAQuE, the research unit of Aquapôle-ULiège and FMV-ULiège for their support, aid and active participation during the study. We appreciate the constructive comments from the reviewers.
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